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Chris Hopkins

Professor Chris Hopkins

Professor of English Studies and Head of the Humanities Research Centre


I am Professor of English Studies and Head of the Humanities Research Centre and my teaching and research interests are mainly in twentieth-century literature. I have published Thinking about Texts - An Introduction to English Studies (Palgrave 2001, 2009) and English Fiction of the 1930s: Language, Genre and History (Continuum, 2006), and have written on interwar writers such as Eric Ambler, Katherine Burdekin, Cyril Connolly, Ralph Bates, Winifred Holtby, Storm Jameson, Naomi Mitchison and Sylvia Townsend Warner. My book on Walter Greenwood's Love on the Dole - Novel, Play, Film will be published by Liverpool University Press in 2016.

  • About

    I did my B.A. in English and Related Literature at the University of York, and then an M.A. and M.Phil in English at the University of Warwick. After that I taught for the University of Warwick and the Open University until 1991 when I was appointed to a Lectureship at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2001 I gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from the Open University.

    I've had a number of jobs in English since 1991, including Admissions Tutor and Head of English, but I'm now Head of Humanities Research. My teaching and research interests largely coincide. I'm interested in twentieth-century British literature and in how English is best taught at degree-level. I've been involved at various times with national bodies which have worked on university teaching or research. I was a Higher Education Academy Accreditor from 2001-7, a member of the English Subject Centre Advisory Board from 2003-8 and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College from 2006 till 2013.

    I have published Thinking About Texts - an Introduction to English Studies (Palgrave, 2001, revised edition 2009), which is used in universities in the UK, Europe, Australia and Japan, and has sections on English Literature, Language and Creative Writing. I have also published English Fiction in the 1930s: Language, Genre, History, (Continuum, 2006) and articles on first-world-war literature and women's writing in the nineteen-thirties. My book Walter Greenwood's Love on the Dole: Novel, Play, Film (Liverpool University Press) and an introductory essay for the BFI's new DVD / Blu-Ray release of the film of Love on the Dole will both come out in 2016.

    Politics, genre and the novel in the nineteen thirties; women’s writing between the wars, working-class writing; documentary, film and literature between the wars; Welsh writing in English, writing of the first and second world wars, modernism and modernity, realism and modernism, readerships and literary taste, the middle-brow novel, the history of school and university English, teaching and learning in English Studies.

  • Teaching

    Reading Popular Fiction 1900-1950:


    BA English; BA English Literature

    Introduction to English Studies; the Great War 1914-1918 Research Project; Literature in the Twentieth Century

  • Publications

    Journal articles

    Hopkins, C. (2020). 'The Pictures … Are Even More Stark Than The Prose' (Sheffield Telegraph 2/12/1937): Word and Image in Walter Greenwood and Arthur Wragg's The Cleft Stick (1937). Word and Image, 36 (4), 321-342.

    Hopkins, C. (2019). Reviewed Work: Pamela Hansford Johnson: A Writing Life by Deirdre David. Modern Language Review, 114 (2), 369-370.

    Healey, J., Hopkins, C., Mcclimens, A., & Peplow, D. (2017). The potential therapeutic benefits of reading poetry to nursing home residents: the road less travelled? Journal of Poetry Therapy, 30 (3), 153-165.

    Hopkins, C. (2015). Committed Styles: Modernism, Politics and Left-Wing Literature in the 1930s. LITERATURE & HISTORY-THIRD SERIES, 24 (2), 116-117.

    Hopkins, C. (2014). ‘My Mother Won the War’: Patriotism and the First World War in Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Scenes of Childhood (1981). Literature Compass, 11 (12), 754-766.

    Hopkins, C. (2014). The Vision of JB Priestley. LABOUR HISTORY REVIEW, 79 (2), 241-243.

    Hopkins, C. (2013). 'A Certain Amount of Instruction': Politics, Entertainment and Narration in the Interwar Short Stories of Winifred Holtby, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Naomi Mitchison. Short fiction in theory and practice, 3 (1), 97-112.

    Hopkins, C. (2012). Scottish Novels of the Second World War. SCOTTISH LITERARY REVIEW, 4 (2), 202-204.

    Hopkins, C. (2012). 'The Army of the Unemployed': Walter Greenwood's wartime novel and the reconstruction of Britain. Keywords : A Journal of Cultural Materialism, 10.

    Hopkins, C. (2011). F.R. Leavis. STYLE, 45 (3), 552-554.

    Jaffe, A., Radford, A., Hopkins, C., Fogarty, A., Harrison, A., Shahriari, L., ... Quinn, J. (2008). Modern Literature. Year's Work in English Studies, 87, 863-965.

    Hopkins, C. (2008). Metafiction and metahistory in contemporary women's writing. JOURNAL OF GENDER STUDIES, 17 (2), 166-168.

    Bentley, N., Brannigan, J., Creasy, M., D'Monté, R., Fogarty, A., Harrison, A., ... Sierz, A. (2007). Modern Literature. Year's Work in English Studies, 86, 780-886.

    Cowley, J., Radford, A., Hopkins, C., Fogarty, A., Jones, B., Shahriari, L., ... Quinn, J. (2006). Modern Literature. Year's Work in English Studies, 85, 744-835.

    (2006). Historicising the Historical Novel. Working Papers on the Web, 9, (no-pagination).

    Cowley, J., Graham, C., Hopkins, C., Fogarty, A., Jones, B., Paxton, N., ... Gill, J. (2005). Modern Literature. Year's Work in English Studies, 84, 764-853.

    Smith, K., & Hopkins, C. (2005). Great expectations: Sixth-formers' perceptions of teaching and learning in degree-level English. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 4 (3), 304-318.

    Hopkins, C. (2005). Elizabeth Bowen: the enforced return. JOURNAL OF GENDER STUDIES, 14 (2), 162-164.

    Grover, M., & Hopkins, C. (2005). Survival Guides for Supervisees and Supervisors: A Joint, Dual-Perspective Review. Working Papers on the Web, 8, (no-pagination).

    Hopkins, C. (2005). One End Street? Eve Garnett and the proletarian pastoral for children 1937-1962. Journal of children's literature studies, 1 (3), 1-16.

    Cowley, J., Graham, C., Hapgood, L., Hopkins, C., Lea, D., Jones, B., ... Brearton, F. (2004). Modern Literature. Year's Work in English Studies, 83, 715-807.

    (2003). The Thirties Now. Working Papers on the Web, 6, (no-pagination).

    Cowley, J., Graham, C., Hapgood, L., Hopkins, C., Lea, D., Poplawski, P., ... Brearton, F. (2002). Modern Literature. Year's Work in English Studies, 81, 767-873.

    Hopkins, C. (2001). Elizabeth Bowen. Review of Contemporary Fiction, 21 (2), 114-141.

    Hopkins, C. (2000). Arrietty, Homily, Pod: Home, Size, Gender, and Relativity in The Borrowers. Children's Literature Association Quarterly, 25 (1), 21-29.

    Hopkins, C. (2000). Chekhov and Gerhardi: The Russian sources of Anthony Powell's 'Venusberg' (1932). ENGLISH LANGUAGE NOTES, 37 (3), 62-66.

    Hopkins, C. (1998). Modernising Pastorals? The Olive Field and Thirties Leftist Pastoral. Critical Survey, 10 (3), 62-72.

    Hopkins, C. (1997). Comic flexibility and the flux of modernity in Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. Humor, 10 (2), 207-218.

    Hopkins, C. (1996). Tolkien and Englishness. Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and the Genres of Myth and Fantasy Stu, 21; 33 (2 [80]), 278-280.

    Hopkins, C. (1996). Translating Caradoc Evan's Welsh English. STYLE, 30 (3), 433-444.

    Hopkins, C. (1996). Registering War: Modernism, Realism, and the Can(n)on. Focus on Robert Graves and His Contemporaries, 2 (5), 38-43.

    Hopkins, C. (1996). The subject of study: Skills and degree level learning. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 20 (1), 35-38.

    Hopkins, C. (1995). The Neglect of Brigid Brophy. TheReview of Contemporary Fiction, 15 (3), 12-17.


    Hopkins, C. (1995). Evelyn Waugh, Henri Bergson and Vile Bodies. Evelyn Waugh Newsletter and Studies, 29 (1), 6-8.

    Hopkins, C. (1995). Elizabeth Bowen: Realism, modernism and gendered identity in her novels of the 1930s. JOURNAL OF GENDER STUDIES, 4 (3), 271-279.

    Hopkins, C. (1995). Greene's England Made Me: Krogh, Kreuger and English Marxist Criticism in the Nineteen Thirties. English Language Notes, 33 (1), 61-63.

    Hopkins, C. (1995). ‘James joyce is an irish edition of mr caradoc evans’: Two celtic naturalists. Irish Studies Review, 3 (12), 23-26.



    Hawkes, G., Hopkins, C., Lazaridis, G., Green, E., Cohen, L., Hanlon, J., ... Cunnison, S. (1995). Notes on Contributors. Journal of Gender Studies, 4 (3), 399.

    Hopkins, C. (1994). Registering War: Modernism, Realism, and the Can[n]on. Focus on Robert Graves and His Contemporaries, 2 (2), 39-43.

    Hopkins, C. (1994). Mixed Languages: David Jones's In Parenthesis. Swansea Review, 318-325.

    Hopkins, C. (1993). Dialect and Dialectic: Region and Nations in Walter Greenwood's Love on the Dole. Literature of Region and Nation, 3 (4), 1-8.

    Hopkins, C. (1993). Rainer Maria Rilke: A Source for John Lehmann's Evil Was Abroad. Notes and Queries, 40 (238) (1), 71-72.

    Hopkins, C. (1993). A Source for Rex Warner's The Aerodrome. Notes and Queries, 40 (238) (1), 68-69.

    Conference papers


    Book chapters

    Hopkins, C. (2020). ‘Re-presenting Wrens: Nancy Spain’s Thank You Nelson (1945), Eileen Bigland's The Story of the Wrens (1946), Vera Laughton Matthews’ The Blue Tapestry (1948) and Edith Pargeter’s She Goes to War (1942)'. In British Women's Writing 1930 to1960: Between the Waves. (First). Liverpool university Press

    Hopkins, C. (2010). "Frustrated Spinsters" and "Morbid Degenerate[s]"?: women and men in Winifred Holtby's Truth is Not Sober (1934). In Regan, L. (Ed.) Winifred Holtby, 'A Woman in her time' : critical essays. (pp. 149-171). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars

    Hopkins, C. (2009). Caradoc Evans's Modernist Antipastoral. In James, D., & Tew, P. (Eds.) New version of pastoral : post-romantic, modern and contemporary responses to the tradition. (pp. 107-122). Madison [N.J.]: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

    Hopkins, C. (2009). Wales (1937-9), The Welsh Review (1939-41). In Brooker, P., & Thacker, A. (Eds.) The Oxford critical and cultural history of modernist magazines. Vol. 1, Britain and Ireland 1880-1955. (pp. 714-734). Oxford: Oxford University Press

    Hopkins, C. (2006). Sylvia Townsend Warner and the Historical Novel 1936-1948. In Critical Essays on Sylvia Townsend Warner, English Novelist 1893-1978. (pp. 117-143). Lewiston, NY: Mellen

    Hopkins, C. (2003). Leftists and Thrillers: The Politics of a Thirties Sub-Genre. In And in Our Time: Vision, Revision, and British Writing of the 1930s. (pp. 147-162). Lewisburg, PA--London, England: Bucknell UP--Associated UP

    Hopkins, C. (2002). W. H. Auden and Naomi Mitchison. In W. H. Auden: A Legacy. (pp. 73-88). West Cornwall, CT: Locust Hill

    Hopkins, C. (2001). Gwyn Thomas. In British and Irish Dramatists since World War II, Third Series. (pp. 331-337). Detroit, MI: Gale

    Hopkins, C. (2001). Nancy Cunard. In Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century British Women Poets. (pp. 36-45). Detroit, MI: Thomson Gale

    Hopkins, C. (2001). ‘Beyond Fiction? - The Example of Winged Warfare (1918)’. In The Literature of the Great War Reconsidered: Beyond Modern Memory. (1st). Palgrave

    Hopkins, C. (1999). Robert Graves and the Historical Novel in the 1930s. In New Perspectives on Robert Graves. (pp. 128-135). London, England--Selinsgrove, PA: Associated UP--Susquehanna UP

    Hopkins, C. (1999). ‘Peasant Languages and Celtic Nations: the Englishes of J.M. Synge and Caradoc Evans’. In English and the Other Languages. (1st). Rodopi Press

    Hopkins, C. (1998). Peter Fleming (31 May 1907 - 18 August 1971). In British Travel Writers, 1910-1939. (pp. 70-84). Detroit, MI: Gale

    Hopkins, C. (1998). John Hampson. In British Novelists between the Wars. (pp. 163-170). Detroit, MI: Gale

    Hopkins, C. (1998). ‘Victorian Modernity? - Writing the Great Exhibition’. In Varieties of Victorian Writing. (1st). MacMillan

    Hopkins, C. (1996). ‘Inside the Rock Pool: Cyril Connolly’s The Rock Pool (1938)’. In Recharting The Nineteen Thirties. Susquehannah University Press

    Hopkins, C. (1994). Shelley Rewriting Romanticism: Poetry as Political Critique. In Romantic Discourses. (pp. 341-348). Essen: Blaue Eule

    Hopkins, C. (n.d.). Hiraeth and ambiguous pastorals : Wales, England, and rural modernities between the Wars. In Bluemel, K., & McCluskey, M. (Eds.) Rural Modernity in Britain : A Critical Intervention. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press


    Hopkins, C. (2018). Walter Greenwood’s Love on the Dole: Novel, Play, Film - a Case Study. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

    Hopkins, C. (2009). Thinking About Texts- an Introduction to English Studies (second revised edition). (Second Revised Edition). Palgrave Macmillan.

    Hopkins, C. (2006). English Fiction in the 1930s: Language, Genre, History. London, England: Continuum.

    Hopkins, C. (2001). Thinking about Texts An Introduction to English Studies. Palgrave Macmillan.

    Hopkins, C. (1994). John Clare: A Natural Poet? Sheffield: PAVIC, Sheffield City Polytechnic.

    Hopkins, C. (1994). Neglected Texts, Forgotten Contexts-Four Political Novels of the Nineteen Thirties: Evil Was Abroad, Starting Point, Journey to the Border, The Wild Goose Chase. Sheffield: PAVIC, Sheffield Hallam Univ.

    Theses / Dissertations

    Franklin, R. (2018). Eroticism, narrative and cultural renewal: The writing of Salvador Dalí 1928-1945. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hopkins, C.

    Jackson, A.B. (2015). The polar sublime in contemporary poetry of Arctic and Antarctic exploration. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Earnshaw, S., Riordan, M., & Hopkins, C.

    Turnbull, S. (2014). The portrayal of the working-class and working-class culture in Barry Hines's novels. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hopkins, C.

    Miles, N.R. (2014). Negotiations between public and private realms in British writing of the 1930s. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hopkins, C., & Earnshaw, S.

    Brown, E.C. (2010). Comedy and the middlebrow novel :Elizabeth Taylor and Elizabeth von Arnim. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hopkins, C., Mills, S., & Baxendale, J.

    Mahfoud, B. (2009). Spiritual development in the poetry of T.S. Eliot. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hopkins, C.

    Grover, M. (2002). The authenticity of the middlebrow : Warwick Deeping and cultural legitimacy, 1903-1940. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hopkins, C.

    Internet Publications

    Hopkins, C. (2020). Love on the Dole and the Clergy.

  • Postgraduate supervision

    I am currently supervising two theses: Sexuality and Gender in Surrealist Literature and The Middlebrow Spy novel 1930-1945.

    I have been Director of Studies for five Sheffield Hallam Ph.D theses: Warwick Deeping and Middlebrow Culture 1918-1940 (April 2002), Spiritual Development in T.S. Eliot’s Poetry (July 2009), Comedy and the Middlebrow Novel: Elizabeth von Arnim and Elizabeth Taylor (February 2011), The Representation of Working-Class Culture in the Novels of Barry Hines (August 2014), and Negotiating the Public and the Private in Writing of the Nineteen-Thirties (September 2014). I was second supervisor for The Polar Sublime in Contemporary Poetry of Arctic and Antarctic Exploration (November 2015).

  • Media

    Chris is an expert on the British novel in the first half of the twentieth century, particularly fiction of the First World War, the 1930s and the Second World War. His interests include women's writing, the bestseller, middlebrow novels, working class writing, novels about unemployment, novels about flying and the RAF, the wartime Ministry of Information and novels about Wales.

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